Sure, if Donald Trump says he is going to drain the swamp, appointing Carl Icahn to a non-existent unofficial post on regulatory reform doesn’t really fit that agenda. Yet as an investor, I say, give me more of the same.
Certainly, one big area Carl Icahn will concentrate on is energy, and he will also tackle financials. “I do think it’s extremely important for this country that this absurd regulatory environment is toned down somewhat,” he told CNBC. “I’m not against regulations at all. In fact I sort of believe that you need a rule of law. But it’s become literally absurd in many areas.”
Carl Icahn has specifically said that banking and EPA regulations have gone too far. Certainly, these are areas that need to be addressed. However, Carl Icahn has been a bit more circumspect with respect to Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Donald Trump has said the legislation and the CFPB are partly responsible for the “the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery since the Great Depression.”
I suspect Carl Icahn is soft-selling his feelings about the financial legislation and bureau that government created. Icahn has to play nice with banks because they provide debt for his businesses and acquisitions. Surely he has had his dust-ups with them, but ultimately this is just another part of what we should expect a Donald Trump presidency to look like: dealmaking.
Carl Icahn will make deals with the banks to scale back Dodd-Frank and the CFPB, and they’ll play nicer with him on any deal he wants to make. It’s how things work in America. It may not be ideal, in that we’d all prefer less influence being sold, but for investors, it should be a good thing.
Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, and manager of the forthcoming Liberty Portfolio stock newsletter. As of this writing, he has no position in any stock mentioned. He has 22 years’ experience in the stock market, and has written more than 1,600 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at TheLibertyPortfolio@gmail.com.